Friday, November 8, 2013

The PCOS Diaries #5

I meant to write this earlier, but things have been so crazy around here that I haven't had a chance to do so until now.

The last time I wrote about this subject, I was talking about making an appointment to see a new doctor for a second opinion. I had found one nearby that was supposedly really awesome according to her reviews online. I called her office up, made an appointment and saw her in mid-September.

You know what? She was every bit as awesome as the reviews said she was!

I told her everything that had happened, and showed her the medical files I had brought with me. By the time I was done she was flabbergasted at the situation, and upset on my behalf.

The first thing she addressed was the fibroids. It turned out that the copy of the ultrasound report was useless. It told her what the size of the fibroids were, but didn't explain where they were in my uterus. I wasn't exactly thrilled to hear that, because I didn't want to have to have an ultrasound again. They aren't horrible, but they aren't pleasant.

However, it turned out that I wouldn't need to have an ultrasound - I would need to get an MRI instead. She went on to explain that if my firbroids are as large as the ultrasound said they were, then they needed to be removed. Depending on where they were in my uterus, they could be the reason why we were having problems conceiving, and if it turned out that they weren't the reason, they needed to come out anyways because they could cause complications with the pregnancy.

I almost did a happy dance right then and there! Even if the fibroids aren't the reason for my fertility issues, they definitely have been causing other problems lately - and getting Thing 1 and Thing 2 out of my body would make life a lot better.

The second issue we talked about was the PCOS. While it does look like I have PCOS based on the ultrasound, she explained that doctors are now required to do more testing before giving a diagnosis. If a doctor suspects a patient has PCOS, they have to send them off for both an ultrasound and bloodwork - it can't be one or the other anymore.

Unfortunately the bloodwork my previous doctor had done was the incorrect bloodwork to test for PCOS. Even though she had told me that she would test me, she had only ordered the tests to check my glucose, thyroid, and the ovulation hormone to see if I ovulated that month. Based on the tests my thyroid looked fine, and I did ovulate, but the new doctor explained that it was entirely possible for someone to ovulate one month, but not the next.

(Upon hearing that bit of news my Husband gave me a confused look and said, 'so you have a lazy ovary?')

So, in addition to being scheduled for an MRI, I was told I would need to go in for two more rounds of bloodwork - one at the beginning of the cycle and one at the end of my cycle. This would check for PCOS, Insulin Resistance, Thyroid (again), and ovulation (again). It would also check my kidneys because in addition to doing a normal MRI she also wanted to do one with color as well.

I walked out of the office feeling pretty emotional. I was so thankful that God allowed me to find her, and relieved that I was on the right path and had finally found someone who would help, among other things.

Unfortunately I haven't been able to go in for testing yet due to some unforeseen circumstances that I did not expect to pop up:

1) The husband lost his job.

With my current insurance plan I am responsible for 20% of my medical costs. With the husband being out of work, I couldn't spend money on bloodwork and MRIs because we needed that money to pay bills and make sure we had food on the table and a roof over our heads. The husband has since gotten a new job, but that month and a half of him not working really threw a wrench in our finances, so I still can't afford to go in for the bloodwork and the MRI yet.

2) Due to Obamacare, the company I work for decided to change it's healthcare provider.

This one is a big old mess that still makes my head hurt (but it ends well).

When the husband was at his old job, I had thought about adding him to my health insurance. His old job didn't have health insurance, and we had no idea what his boss would do about insurance since the ACA requires that employers provide some sort of health insurance to their employees. Being that his employer was a mom and pop shop, I figured that whatever health insurance the boss could find would probably be expensive - so it would be best to add my husband to my health insurance.

Then my work made the announcement that because of the ACA the cost of health insurance was going up - so that plan was quickly abandoned.

We looked into getting a health plan through the government. For California, these plans were supposedly cheaper than what a lot of people had thought they would be. And, at first glance, the plan my husband and I qualified for was certainly cheaper than anything my work was offering.

And then I looked at the fine print and realized that even though it was cheaper per month, it was actually way more expensive. The deductible was higher than the one on the current health insurance I have at work, and it only covered 70% of medical costs where as the one I have with work covered 80%. In addition to that it was $60 to see a PCP through the Obamacare plan, and you were limited to three doctors visits per year. My health care had no limit, and the doctors visits were only $30.

So, that was a major let down.

Then the husband got a job. He's a temp right now, but after his 90 day trial, he'll qualify for health care and other benefits - so I won't need to add him to my plan after all! Yay!

Then work made a second announcement - they had neglected to tell us during the first announcement that another part of the reason our healthcare was going up was because we were changing health care providers. Instead of having Cigna through a third party administrator called Coresource, we were going to get Cigna straight from Cigna themselves!

I have never been so happy to pay for health insurance!

See, since our healthcare was okay, but since it was through a third party administrator, it made things confusing at times. If a doctors office was trying to verify our insurance, they couldn't call Cigna, because Cigna had no clue who we were - they had to call Coresource. But Coresource was on the East Coast, and was only open from 9am to 5pm East Coast time - so getting a hold of them was such a pain. In fact, out of my two years of being with this company and having Coresource for healthcare, I have only found one, ONE, doctor's office that knew how to deal with them.

Not to mention that they also asked a lot of inappropriate questions, like demanding evidence of prior health insurance (which no health provider I have ever have has ever asked for) and or asking single parents to tell them who the father or mother of their child was, even though that parent wasn't involved in the child's life at all, so they could see if they had any insurance that could also be billed for doctors visits.There were other problems, but I won't go into them here - let's just say that the HR office had a stack of complaints about Coresource.

Now that we have straight old normal Cigna, we don't have to worry about those problems any more. Also, it turns out that Cigna covers WAY more than Coresource's Cigna ever would - like infertility! Cigna doesn't cover IVF, but they do cover certain prescriptions and surgeries. Granted, my fibroid surgery was going to be covered, but it's nice to know that if I need an additional surgery like, oh, ovarian drilling, to treat the PCOS, that that will be taken care of by Cigna. They also cover weight loss treatments - so I could get a discount on weight watchers once Thing 1 and Thing 2 and my other issues are all under control!

So, yes, really excited about this change!

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